Our second featured artist this week from the current exhibition ‘Brink’, is Plymouth Photography Graduate Laurie Crayston. We spoke to him about his image ‘Mine, Landscape’ which is on display here at The Strand Gallery.
Where did this project begin? How did your ideas develop over time?
Growing up in the Lake District, I have always had a fascination with landscapes. In the final year of my degree, I began to create photography that illustrated my close relationship with place, space and nature. As the project developed, it became apparent that by putting myself into the images and placing physical interventions into the landscape, the photographs would begin to represent my autobiographical connections to the places that are meaningful to me.
Do you have any particular photographic inspirations?
Photographically, my work draws from several of Elina Brotherus’ self portraits, which I found particularly stimulating. However, my main inspiration came from the paintings of Casper David Friedrich and JMW Turner. I wanted the photographs to question the nature of the sublime and the relationship between contemporary masculinity and histories of dominance over landscape.
What inspired the image’s atmoshpheric and sombre setting?
I had been waiting some time for the opportunity to shoot in such thick mist. There is something in the connection between mist and water that I find visually perfect and incredibly satisfying. It captures the simplicity of the space when balancing between clarity and obscurity. The serenity of the setting, disrupted only by my presence, creates an intensity that I could not have achieved in any other location.
What photographic techniques did you use to achieve the desired effect?
To create my final outcome, I used the camera’s self-timer. I set it to take several images at a time whilst I attempted a variety of poses and positions that demonstrated my interaction with the landscape. From this performance, a single image was selected. I wanted the photograph to represent the intensity of when I place myself in these landscapes; the significant power I feel when immersed in nature.
Laurie’s work is part of Brink, on show at the The Strand Gallery from the 6th – 10th August.
Further examples of Laurie Crayston’s work can be viewed here.